A Florida man accused of beating an iguana to death has failed in an audacious attempt to get an animal-cruelty case against him dismissed by arguing that the fight was started by the lizard. According to CNN, PJ Nilaja Patterson has been charged with beating, dragging, and kicking the iguana that died of its injuries last September. In a doomed legal strategy, Patterson’s lawyers attempted to use Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which allows deadly force to be used if a person believes that it’s necessary to prevent them from being killed. “In this case, Patterson acted in a reasonable manner under all the circumstances because the wild iguana was first to engage with physical violence,” his lawyers argued. They claimed the lizard bit Patterson’s arm so he “kicked the iguana as far as he could,” fearing that it may “have injected poison” into him. Assistant State Attorney Alexandra Dorman argued back: “Stand Your Ground does not even apply to this case because the iguana is not a human being.” Judge Jeffrey Gillen ultimately denied the motion last Friday.
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